News in numbers, Nov 25, 2015: Drought-hit Indian states, advance pricing agreements…


What is it? Number of states that have declared drought so far. Telangana is the latest to to so with parts of the state in drought because of successive monsoon deficits. Ten districts covering 231 sub-districts are declared as drought affected.

Why is it important? Distress in agriculture will affect rural demand and has potential to fuel inflation in a few items like oilseeds because of lower output.

Tell me more: Rural India has 90.2 million agricultural households, and 63% of them depend on agriculture as main source of income.

Rs 3,310 crore

What is it? Amount paid by Idea Cellular, India’s third largest mobile operator, to buy airwaves in two circles from Videocon Telecommunications.

Why is it important? This is the first trading after government allowed telecom companies to sell the spectrum they hold. The price paid by Idea is nearly twice of what Videocon valued it in March 2015, and it will help Idea offer 4G services in Gujarat and Western Uttar Pradesh.

Tell me more: With Reliance Industries planning to launch its 4G services next fiscal, existing players are sprucing their high-speed offering. Airtel, the market leader, is launching 4G services in 296 cities and towns.     


What is it? The number of advance pricing agreements (APA) signed by Indian tax authorities with multinational companies. An APA covers future intercompany transactions belonging to the same group (let’s say, Accenture India provides service to Accenture UK) but located in different countries. It would specify the profit margins on top of cost, so that tax can be levied.    

Why is it important? APA helps in reducing tax disputes especially in cases of related party transactions as there is certainty on how tax authorities will treat the transaction. In fiscal 2015, tax authorities disputed more than 50% of international related party transactions involving upward revision of taxable income of Rs 46,465 crore.    

Tell me more: Ever since APA was introduced in August 2012, Finance Ministry has received 329 applications till December 2014 and it had now signed 31 APAs.

Rs 2,265 crore

What is it? Amount paid by Japan-based Nippon Life Insurance Co to raise its stake in Reliance Life Insurance from 26% to 49%, the maximum allowed now.

Why is it important? This is the first deal in the life insurance segment after government increased foreign investment limit to 49% this year. Cash from sale could help Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Capital to invest in other businesses or reduce debt.

Tell me more: On Monday, UK-based Bupa Plc acquired additional 23% in the medical insurance joint venture, Max Bupa Health Insurance Co Ltd, for Rs 191 crore, valuing the company at Rs 830 crore.

Rs 5,828 crore

What is it? The value of construction contract bagged by state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to build 3,000 flats for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

Why is it important? Apart from providing residential accommodation for doctors and nurses working in India’s apex hospital, the project also entails selling 10% of area so as to make it commercially viable.

Tell me more: Already NBCC is redeveloping 86 acres of government land just across the road from AIIMS. Even here residential accommodation is mixed with commercial space.

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